Opposition MP raises alarm over alleged mistreatment of women detainees

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a parliamentary member of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) and a human rights advocate, has raised concerns over allegations of mistreatment involving several women detained in Malatya.

The women were accused of participating in a chat room on X, organized by the faith-based Gülen movement and communicating through this platform. Out of nine detainees brought before the court, seven were arrested.

In a series of tweets, Gergerlioğlu claimed that the detained women were forced to remove their headscarves and were not allowed to perform prayers for three days.

“Women detained in Malatya had their headscarves removed for three days. They were not allowed to pray or meet with their lawyers. These women were traumatized by being arrested on baseless charges,” he wrote.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations in 2013, which implicated then-prime minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

Gergerlioğlu has called for an explanation from the Malatya Governor’s Office and the Ministry of Justice. “We expect an immediate response from the authorities regarding this violation. Such treatment is unacceptable,” he said.

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